This topic has been a very interesting read. While reading the posts regarding how easy it is to use Apple's products, I started thinking about what got me into computers and ultimately what lead me to advocating open source.
The first computer that I ever used was a Radio Shack TRS-80 that my dad brought home when I was 6 or 7 years old. After playing 'Pitfall' and 'Rocky's Boots' more times then I can remember, I started getting interested in the version of basic that was on the computer. As a kid I was amazed that I could type in a bunch of commands and the computer would do what I asked it to do, even if it was just to print something to the screen in an endless loop. I was hooked and have been working with/on computers ever since.
Now to the thought I am going for ... from personal experience I think that when people are exposed to computers, including programming, at a younger age they are more likely to want to tinker with their computer and try to figure out how things work. I think that this in turn would increase the odds of open source gaining a wider appeal. I think that Apples success stems from creating products that don't require a user that is willing to tinker; but if a higher percentage of the population had learned how to tinker at a younger age, then the landscape of technology might be a bit different. I also think that the rate of innovation would also be much higher then it currently is.
I've noticed that companies that have an open and transparent culture tend to have better long term success rates.
I think there are a couple main reasons for this. The first is that, whether the company is dealing with difficulties or not, employees of a company with an open/transparent culture would be more likely to be engaged and empowered to solve problems and make improvements to how things are done.
Secondly when dealing with vendors, customers, etc..., an open and transparent business is more likely to instill trust then a non-open / non-transparent business. Even in situations where a business has to walk away from a business transaction, the open and transparent business is more likely to give clear and concise reasons for not going further with a transaction; which instills a higher level of trust, then just backing out.